Pioneer of postmodernism Robert Venturi dies at 93
Pritzker Prize-winning American architect Robert Venturi, who lead the postmodern movement with wife and partner Denise Scott Brown, passed away on 18 September 2018, following a brief illness. He was 93. Born in 1925 in Philadelphia, Venturi studied at Princeton University and then went on to work with the offices of Eero Saarinen and Louis Kahn. He was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, and later also taught at Yale and Harvard. Venturi wrote several seminal texts including Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, and Learning from Las Vegas — which he co-authored with Scott Brown. These publications played an instrumental role in challenging numerous principles of modern architecture, consequently leading to the dawn of the postmodern era in the second half of the 20th century. With Scott Brown, he founded and ran the firm Venturi Scott Brown Architects (VSBA). Some of the well known buildings he designed include the Vanna Venturi House built for his mother in Philadelphia in 1964; the rather playful-looking Children’s Museum in Houston in collaboration with Jackson and Rhys Architects; the Guild House in Philadelphia to house low-income senior citizens; and a fire station in Columbus, Indiana, among others. With Scott Brown, he designed their own whimsical versions of furniture such as the Queen Anne chair and the Chippendale chair. In 1991, Venturi was awarded the Pritzker Prize, and later, in 2016, along with Scott Brown, jointly received the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).